The Courage To Change

11 Feb

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”  ~ Maya Angelou

Butterflies have always amazed me.  When I am outside, I always look for them.  I enjoy sitting on my deck and watching them flutter among the flowers.  When I have gone on cruises, I almost always take the butterfly farm excursions that are offered.  They are graceful and beautiful and a symbol of persistence and resilience.

Many people may not know what butterflies go through to become butterflies.  They begin, as we all know, as caterpillars.  Those caterpillars go through a lot in their initial stages to eat and store the energy that they will need to form their cocoons.  While they are yet caterpillars, their environment is fraught with danger.  They are the victim of many a creature that would pick them off and eat them.

Once they form their cocoons, they have to go through another stage as they change from caterpillar to butterfly.  When their transformation is complete, they still have more distress ahead.  They must emerge from their cocoon.  I learned, when I was very young, that those cocoons are very tightly constructed for a reason.  The butterfly must force its way out of the cocoon’s confines.  In forcing itself out, it peels away anything that would stick to its wings.  It also forces the wings to take their shape and grow strong.

If a person sees a butterfly slowly emerging from a cocoon and attempts to help it out by cutting the cocoon open to free the butterfly, they would ensure the death of the butterfly.  It would never be able to fly because its wings would not have the resistance of the cocoon needed to strengthen and shape them.

Once outside the cocoon, the butterfly swoops magnificently.  But the journey was both hazardous and painful.  Thus it is in our own spiritual lives.  We are challenged to change so that we may become more than we are.  That change and growth can be painful.  That growth often meets resistance.  That growth cannot be done for us.  We must go through it all.  If we go through it willingly and gladly, all the more bonus for us.  However, all of us are called to change.

There is a “butterfly” within each and every one of us.  Our souls yearn to soar.  Form them, nurture them, and, after our time of preparation here on earth, let them emerge to give glory to God.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to give you the courage to begin the change He is asking you to make.